Blog Post

ABC DOA ASAP

The ABC Entertainment Center in LA is being demolished? Why does no one discuss these things with me? Well, okay, to be fair, Blogging LA did.

Man, I loved that place when I was a kid. It wasn't just the futuristic-by-way-of-the-1960s architecture, or the ability to gape up through the tiers of shops and see the aluminum-framed Century City towers. It wasn't even the (by then shuttered) Playboy Club.

I saw movies there the way you're supposed to watch movies. Before they broke the place up into a big multiplex, there were only three theaters. They were massive. I saw Battlestar Galactica in Sensurround. I saw four hours of Reds, with an overture and an intermission. My dad snuck us into The Black Stallion. I made out with my girlfriend during The Last Emperor and, at the Schubert Theater across the way, cried my eyes out during the last act of Les Miserables, which almost cost me my relationship with my girlfriend at the time. She couldn't figure out why I was being so wussy about a cheesy musical. (It worked out okay; I married her).

The movie theater seats were red, I think, and plush. No stadium seating back then, just a vast auditorium. Felt like it held 2,000 people. Seeing a flick there felt like an event.

I know LA still has truly great theaters. So does San Fran, for that matter. But there's something disconcerting, something too can't-go-home-again-ish, about losing places you remember. Cities are supposed to be chaotic, ever-changing things, but I am troubled by the fact that I have memories whose geographic location is just a point in space.

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